Team Liquid finish Day 1 of the Starladder i-League Minor with a 4-0 record to secure the top seed and become the first team to advance to the playoffs.
Starladder i-League Minor Day 1 Recap
The first official LAN tournament of the season couldn’t have gone any better, with the first series of the day doing a good job of hyping up everyone.
The underdogs, SG e-sports, were a 20 to 1 odds to sweep the series against Vici Gaming and they managed to do just that; both Thiago ‘Thiolicor’ Cordeiro and Rodrigo ‘Liposa’ Santos were instrumental in SG e-sports pulling off the massive upset.
The following matchup between Mineski and Team Liquid initially looked like it would go the same way as well. However, in between Ivan Borislavov ‘MinD_ContRoL’ Ivanov and his Pugna, as well as Amer ‘Miracle-‘ Al-Barqawi’s Alchemist, the TI7 champions were able to bounce back and come up with the win late in the game.
Team Liquid was much more dominant in Game 2 with Maroun ‘GH’ Merhej proving once again why teams should always dedicate a ban against his IO.
Miracle, though, did not let himself get outdone by his teammate, diving into Mineski’s fountain AND surviving just 18 minutes into the game.
Against SG e-sports in the final match of the day, Team Liquid showed exactly why they are the best Dota 2 team in the world.
In Game 1, Team Liquid banned out SG e-sports’ favourite, Earthshaker, and picked Luna, another SG e-sports staple, in Game 2. They would then go on to win both games with relative ease.
The sweep was a showcase of Team Liquid’s draft prowess and masterful execution of their signature, aggressive playstyle.
All in all, Team Liquid took less than an hour to take the series and secure a spot in the playoffs of the Starladder i-League Minor.
The Excellence of Miracle
There’s no doubt that Team Liquid are an excellent Dota 2 team all around. Their collective mechanical skill — all 4 members have at least 9K MMR — remains unmatched and their captain, Kuro ‘Kuroky’ Salehi Takhasomi, is a well-respected veteran and one of the winningest professional Dota 2 players of all time.
Still, if you look closely, Miracle’s play has had much bigger impact on the team’s success than most people realise. His diverse hero pool is what helps unlock the enigma that is Team Liquid.
Throughout TI7, Miracle paced all players by playing as many as 21 unique heroes. At one point during the main event, he played 9 straight games with different heroes and in total, only played Alchemist, Troll Warlord, Huskar, and Invoker multiple times.
So far this season, Miracle has gone 4 straight official games with a different hero. And, judging by Kuroky’s recent interview, don’t expect that streak to stop anytime soon.
How many heroes do you think will Miracle play in the Starladder i-League Minor tournament? More importantly, do you think Team Liquid will be able to successfully defend their title? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.